MSC Ship Hits Bridge Near Jaxport [VIDEO]

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A bridge in Jacksonville, Florida has been closed after it was struck Thursday afternoon by a RoRo cargo ship operated by the U.S. Navy’s Military Sealift Command.

A tug was towing the USNS 1st Lt. Harry L. Martin when the ship struck the center span of Mathews Bridge, the Coast Guard said in a statement.

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office confirmed that a cargo ship hit the Mathews Bridge causing damage and closing traffic in both directions of the bridge until further notice.

Local News4Jax.com has pictures showing damage to the bridge’s underside and the stern ramp of the USNS Harry L. Martin. The report adds that the bridge could be closed until Monday.

“This will be the most significant delay the city has seen in a long time,” Chief Propper says about the Mathews Bridge being hit by a ship, according to a tweet by the news station.

The Mathews Bridge spans the St. Johns River near JAXPORT and connects downtown Jacksonville to Arlington via the Arlington Expressway.

In the photo below you can clearly see the bend in the ship’s stern ramp. Also the vessel appears to be under tow by a Moran tug, or tugs.

Screen shot 2013-09-27 at 7.55.53 PM
Close up
This photo gives you an idea of the size of the ramp. Image courtesy Military Sealift Command
This photo gives you an idea of the size of the ramp. Image courtesy Military Sealift Command
USNS 1st Lt. Harry L. Martin. Image courtesy Military Sealift Command
USNS 1st Lt. Harry L. Martin. Image courtesy Military Sealift Command